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Over under betting explained – How does over under bet work

Over/Under betting, a popular form of betting in the field of sports betting, adds a layer of excitement and anticipation to the outcome of various sporting events. Also known as Total betting, this approach involves predicting whether the total score, point, or round in a given game, match, or match will be above or below the predetermined benchmark set by the odds setter. With its versatility and applicability across multiple sports, Over/Under betting has attracted the interest of sports enthusiasts worldwide. Let’s dive into the intricacies of Over Under betting with bestsoccertips and discover how it enhances the thrill of sports betting across different sectors.

What is over under in betting?

Here’s our simple explanation: When you bet on the total score in any event—whether it’s a football game, a soccer match, or a hot dog eating contest—you’re wagering on whether that event will be “Over” or “Under” a specific number set by oddsmakers.

What is over under betting?
What is over under betting?

The beauty of Over/Under betting is that it can be applied to almost anything: the number of receptions for a wide receiver; the number of pitches thrown by a pitcher; the number of laps led by the leading driver in a NASCAR race; the winning time in a marathon; how long it takes your spouse to run a round trip to the grocery store. If someone’s willing to bet Over/Under on something, somewhere, someone else will be happy to take that bet.

What is a Push?

Bettors place two types of totals bets: those with whole numbers (8 runs in baseball, 49 points in football) and those with fractions (5.5 goals in hockey, 212.5 points in basketball).

If the Over/Under bet has a fraction, there will be a precise outcome (assuming the game has concluded—see further details below). However, if the total is a whole number, the result could be a push.

For example, an Over/Under of 49 points in a football game. If the game ends with a score of 28-21, the bet is considered a “push”. In this scenario, the bettor’s money will be refunded.

Over/Under bets can also result in a push (and a refund) if the game/event is canceled/postponed or does not conclude. Online sportsbooks have different policies regarding what constitutes a “completed” event for all sports. They also have policies regarding whether bets remain “live” if they are moved to a future date.

For instance, a rain-delayed baseball game almost always leads to refunded bets. However, if you bet on a postponed boxing match that’s rescheduled for a few months later, your ticket may still be valid.

Therefore, it’s crucial to always check the “house rules” before making any bets.

How to Place Totals Bets

There are many ways to place totals bets, with different options depending on each sport—and even within each sport. Here’s an example:

Over/Under Betting in Baseball

Like all team sports, baseball offers Over/Under betting opportunities before the season starts. You can bet on a team to go Over or Under a predetermined total number of wins for the season; on a batter to surpass the total number of hits at home plate; and on a pitcher to win Over or Under a total number of wins (just to name a few).

Additionally, as noted above, most sportsbooks offer prop bets related to individual player performance (Over/Under hits; Over/Under total bases), as well as team outcomes (number of runs scored for a team; total runs combined; hits and errors for both teams).

That being said, the most common way to place Over/Under bets in baseball involves the total number of runs scored by both teams in a game. This total can range from as low as 6.5 runs (for example, if two All-Star pitchers face off against two weak lineups) to double digits (if two average pitchers are facing potent offenses in a hitter-friendly ballpark).

For example, let’s use a Yankees-Red Sox game with a total of 10.5 runs and betting odds (or “juice”) of -120 for the Over and +100 for the Under.

If you bet $100 on Over 10.5, you would collect $183.33 ($100 initial bet plus $83.33 winnings). If you bet $100 on Under 10.5 and win, you would receive $200 ($100 initial bet plus $100 winnings).

Why the difference in payouts? Because of those -120/+100 betting odds. If, in the scenario above, you want to win $100 on a bet of Over 10.5 with -120 odds, you have to risk (bet) $120.

Over/Under Betting in Soccer

The total number of points both teams scored in the first half, the whole game and combined. All points are scored by a specific team. Total yards gained, rushes, touchdowns, cumulative sacks, committed revenue. The options for Over/Under betting in soccer are endless.

And, similar to baseball (and other team sports), sportsbooks attach betting odds to all of their Over/Under wagers.

Here are two examples:

Patrick Mahomes Over/Under 1.5 touchdown passes against the Chargers (Over -165/Under +145): If you believe Mahomes will throw at least two touchdown passes and you want to win $100, you have to risk $165 (total payout if the bet wins: $265). If you think he’ll struggle and only manage one or no touchdown passes, you could bet $100 to win $145 (total payout: $245).

Here are two examples:
Here are two examples:

Over/Under 23.5 total points in the first half of 49ers-Rams (Over -110/Under -110): Confident that the Rams and 49ers will light up the scoreboard in the first two quarters? In this example, bet $110 to win $100 for Over 23.5 points in the first half. Think the defenses will dominate early? Bet $110 to win $100 on Under 23.5 points in the first half.

Over/Under Betting in Basketball

Unlike baseball, soccer, and hockey, the totals for basketball games can reach triple digits. In today’s NBA, it’s rare to see a full-game total below 200 points.

However, the Over/Under totals for college basketball — with two 20-minute halves compared to the NBA’s four 12-minute quarters, as well as longer shot clocks — are significantly lower. However, the concept remains the same: You’re betting on whether both teams will surpass or fall short of the bettor’s posted total.

Similar to soccer, these totals correlate with the offensive and defensive capabilities of the teams. Games with strong defenses and/or weak offenses will have lower Over/Under totals. Conversely, matchups featuring two high-scoring offenses and/or weak defenses will have higher totals.

Additionally, like soccer, Over/Under betting in basketball is offered for the first half (NBA and women’s basketball only), first quarter, second quarter, and full game.

For example:

Lakers vs. Warriors, Over/Under 110.5 points in the first half (Over -115/Under -105): Bettors predicting a fast-paced start to the game will bet Over 110.5 points, risking $115 to win $100. Those expecting a slow start and missed shots will bet $105 to win $100 on the Under.

Basketball — especially the NBA — is another sport where Over/Under betting opportunities are abundant (and increasingly popular). Everything from LeBron James’ total points scored to Steph Curry’s three-pointers made to Joel Embiid’s total rebounds to Devin Booker’s combined points, rebounds, and assists. (Unfortunately, not available for betting: Over/Under on Kevin Durant and James Harden’s trade requests).

Over/Under Betting in Ice Hockey

Betting on the total number of points in ice hockey—whether it’s for the entire game, the first period, or the points and/or goals of an individual skater—largely hinges on one factor: your assessment of each team’s goal scorer. (Goalkeepers in ice hockey are akin to pitchers in baseball when it comes to Over/Under betting.)

If one or both netminders are top talents, the total number of goals will be low (typically 5 or 5.5). When there are fewer goalkeepers between the pipes—especially those facing off against potent offensive opponents—Over/Under totals tend to be 6 or 6.5 (and sometimes as high as 7).

Over/Under Betting in Ice Hockey
Over/Under Betting in Ice Hockey

Take Over/Under 6.5 as an example. If you believe both teams will score six goals or fewer, bet on the Under. If you predict a shootout resulting in at least seven total goals, bet on the Over.

The juice/odds factor also applies to ice hockey. If your goal is to win $100 and the Over 6.5 is -135 while the Under 6.5 is +115, you would need to bet $135 for the former (total profit: $235) and $86.96 for the latter (total profit: $186.96).

Over/Under Betting in Tennis

Interested in participating in Over/Under betting in tennis? Essentially, you have two options: betting on the number of sets played in a particular match or the number of matches a player will win in a specific tournament.

For the second option, let’s say Rafael Nadal is competing in Wimbledon. Before the tournament begins, sportsbooks set Over/Under on the total number of matches Nadal will win in this event. Let’s make that number 5.5.

Because a player must win seven matches to win the US Open, those betting Over 5.5 believe Nadal will reach at least the semifinals (winning a minimum of six matches). Those betting Under 5.5 are expecting Nadal to be eliminated in the quarterfinals or earlier.

During the tournament, you can also bet on Over/Under on the number of sets required to complete a specific match.

Let’s assume Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka are facing each other. Since women’s matches are best-of-three sets and a player must win six games to capture a set, the Over/Under for the total number of sets played could be set at 20.5.

If you predict this match will be closely contested and go to at least three sets (with a scoreline such as 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 totaling 29 games), you would bet Over 20.5. If you believe Williams or Osaka will dispatch their opponent in two quick sets (for example, 6-2, 6-1 totaling 15 games), you would bet Under 20.5.

Over/Under Betting in Soccer

Total wagering in soccer closely resembles that of ice hockey, with one exception: The figures provided by bookmakers are at least halved compared to ice hockey. This comes as no surprise given the difficulty of scoring in soccer. Thus, total goals in top-level professional soccer matches almost always range from 1.5, 2, or 2.5.

Over/Under Betting in Soccer
Over Under Betting in Soccer

Once again, you’re betting on whether both teams will combine to score more or fewer goals than the total number of goals posted by the bettor. And once again, that bet depends on the attacking and defensive/scoring abilities of both teams.

For example: If you bet on Real Madrid-Liverpool Over 2.5 goals, you need both teams to score at least three goals to cash your ticket. If you lean towards Under, you’re hoping for a final score of 0-0, 1-0, or 1-1.

Over/Under Betting in Boxing/UFC

When it comes to combat sports, Over/Under betting revolves around the number of rounds you expect a bout to last.

In boxing, championship bouts are typically scheduled for 12 rounds, each lasting 3 minutes, while UFC title fights go for 5 rounds, each lasting 5 minutes. Non-title fights/undercard matches usually last 10 rounds or fewer in boxing and three rounds in the UFC.

When one or both fighters are known as knockout artists (in both sports), the Over/Under set by the bettor tends to be lower. Conversely, two fighters who don’t land big punches frequently and often go the distance will have a higher Over/Under.

So, when Mike Tyson was fighting at his peak and scheduled for 12 rounds, the total rounds set by sportsbooks were typically low (especially if Tyson’s opponent had a glass jaw). However, when Floyd Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao in 2015, the Over/Under for 12 rounds was set at 11.5 rounds (and the fight went the distance).

The total wager in UFC and boxing centers on one question: Do you believe a fight will go the distance (if not ended early)? If the answer is yes, bet Over. If the answer is no, go with Under.

One thing to note: Similar to other sports mentioned in this guide, juice/odds apply to Over/Under betting in both boxing and UFC. So, always understand the risks you’re taking and the potential payouts—and always seek the best price available.


In conclusion, Over Under betting offers an intriguing approach to sports wagering across various disciplines, from soccer to tennis, ice hockey, combat sports like boxing and UFC, and beyond. By predicting whether the total outcome will exceed or fall short of a set benchmark, bettors can add depth and excitement to their betting experience. Understanding the dynamics of each sport, the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors, and the influence of factors like venue, form, and strategy are crucial for making informed betting decisions. Additionally, being aware of the odds and potential payouts ensures that bettors can maximize their returns while managing their risks effectively. Whether it’s anticipating a high-scoring soccer match or a thrilling knockout in a UFC bout, Over/Under betting offers a wide range of opportunities for sports enthusiasts to engage with their favorite events in a unique and compelling way.

See more: Draw no bet meaning: Explaining this common betting market